strategic futures consultancy ______________________
6. Retired for Hire
People are working beyond retirement – either due to financial need, or because they have grown attached to a lifestyle of leisure and pleasure. With half of Americans having no retirement account, the number of over 65s working will reach nearly 20% by 2014. In the UK, 77% of over 55s plan to continue working after retirement age "in order to enjoy and prolong a better standard of living." In 2011, this group may prove an untapped market for advertisers, affecting a number of consumer sectors. Vitality, energy and longevity will become key product qualities in the food and drink sector, while health and beauty messages may need to centre on anti-aging properties, nutraceuticals and older models to reach this target group.
7. The Big Issue
Our attitude toward weight is polarising, pitting the rise of the super-healthy against the eternal appeal of indulgence. In the UK, almost a quarter of women wear clothes in sizes 18 and over, a third of men wear XL clothes or bigger and more than 30% of UK children are now classed as overweight. Meanwhile, 34% of US adults age 20 and over are obese. Therefore, 2011 may see a wider array of products catering to an obese market: from portion control and more info on packaging to low-cost healthy fare and products to firm and salve chaffed or sagging skin.
8. Garden State
Modern city dwellers have a growing love of gardening and a need for nature and with fresh, organic produce still economically out of reach for many, consumers are finding their own ways to bring healthy home. In the US, 26% of internet users purchased vegetable seeds in past year, 19% bought vegetable/flower garden fertilizer and 27% said they like to grow vegetables at home. While in the UK, 1 in 5 consumers grow their own fruit & vegetables and the UK Allotment waiting list has grown 20% in 2010. In the US, 40% of people with a garden agree "growing fresh food to cook with" is important. In 2011, rural tourism, working farm holidays and garden leisure may benefit, while rising food and commodity prices may see a boost for seed sales as this trend develops.
9. Who Needs Humans
As we move into an ever more digital era, automated technology has machines replacing people – for better or worse. While cashier-less checkouts have become common place, we're starting to see machines creep into new territories, including hospitals, libraries, pharmacies and the home. Therefore, 2011 may see certain jobs permanently displaced by technology – that includes service jobs, not just manual or factory work. But backlash and balance-seeking may lead to an increased cache for hyper-personal goods and services.
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